The Orlando tech scene continues to explode and grow. Many of my favorite places have been established or built in just the last year. Now let’s get right to it! My 5 favorite tech spaces in Orlando.
It is Orlando’s latest Maker Space that is not for your basic hobbyist. Doug Brown, Founder, says, “Factur is many things. We are a classroom, both formal and informal. We are a workshop, a wood shop, a metalworking space, a craft space—or, as we like to call it: a fabrication laboratory. But, above all else, we are a community who values and stresses the importance of sharing with our neighbors.”
You can count on seeing more educational sessions and opportunities to learn a new craft. It amazing to see the skill crafts being built in this space, from custom arcade cabinets to beautiful urns.
It is the coworking hotspot for tech related startups in Downtown Orlando. It has helped the old Exchange building continue to come back to life with other companies filling up the available spaces surround this hub. Canvs has become a central hub for many of the tech meetups, including the monthly Orlando Tech Meetup on the 3rd Thursday of each month.
Startups can choose from a variety of monthly memberships to best fit their needs, as their company grows and space needs change. This coworking concept helps build community around the tech startups in town. Sharing idea, helping connect founders, and develop educational opportunities. Canvs is currently playing host to Starter Studio’s third class, Orlando’s accelerator for startups. Hosting lots of educational sessions for founders, that are typically open to the community.
3. Orlando Science Center
It is the hub for encouraging STEM in all ages. “The Orlando Science Center is in a fantastic position to connect residents and businesses alike with the growing tech community through events like Otronicon and Maker Faire Orlando. Through our partnerships, we are able to introduce youth to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and spark their curiosity in ways not possible anywhere else.” shared Mark Schaub, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator.
I have seen first hand the growth of events, like Otronicon and Maker Faire Orlando. Sharing what’s happening in our community within STEM fields and getting kids excited. I’m excited to see my own son mind expand by attending a LEGO robots school break camp.
4. Melrose Center – Downtown Orange County Library
It is year old creative hub that is open to the community, at least those with Orange County Library cards. This space has audio studio, video studio, photography studio, simulators, fab lab, sound booths, and much more. It plays host to Indienomicon (Orlando’s indie gaming meetup) each month and recently hosted the weekend long Global Game Jam to bring various creatives together to build games centered around a theme over the weekend. Get your library card, sign up for some orientation sessions, and get creating.
5. Full Sail University
Full Sail University isn’t the only place for innovation within higher education in town but it does play host to many events within the tech community, such as movie premiers, FLBlogCon, Global Game Jams, and much more. The Full Sail Live venue is amazing space with state of the art production to make any event spectacular. This gives students an opportunity for real world experience in event production. They have the latest in technology for students to learn hands on from building the latest in video games to recording the next grammy artist.
I lied, let’s make it my 6 favorite tech spaces in Orlando. IZEA’s new headquarters in Winter Park Village is next on my list. I love the uniqueness and creativity that Ted Murphy, IZEA Founder, has instilled in this new office space, recently opening in 2015. Murphy shares, “IZEA’s spirit resides at the intersection of technology and creativity. When I set out to design our new space I wanted to encapsulate that in a unique way. The space is overflowing with screens, streaming cameras and computer controlled lighting. There is art on every wall, sourced from local creators, IZEA team members and yours truly.”
IZEA isn’t in the hub of Downtown Orlando but shows that Orlando Tech Community reaches beyond the Downtown scene. Murphy says, “We have a unique profile in the Orlando tech community. Our goal in creating this space was to create something for the community that would serve to engage and inspire the next generation of smart creatives.” I believe they did just that! Can’t wait to see more events hosted in this space.
What are your favorite tech spaces in Orlando? Anything new on the horizon?